Dementia is a serious disease affecting many older adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that about 5 million people have the disease. Despite the prevalence of the disease and the fact that it is a progressive disease, only about 5 percent of death certificates list it as the cause of death. However, a new study says that it may really be a much higher percentage.
About the Study
The study was conducted by the Boston University School of Public Health using information collected from the Health and Retirement study. To get nationwide data, researchers used information gathered from people who were aged 70 to 99 as they were moving into nursing homes. There were 7,342 participants in the study. The data was collected over a two–year period between 2018 and 2020. The results of the study indicate that the real number of people who die from dementia is closer to 15 percent.
The researchers found that rather than listing dementia as the cause of death, many death certificates list health problems that tend to come along with the disease, such as pneumonia or sepsis. The study suggests that there are many reasons healthcare professionals cite something else as the cause of death, such as:
- Comorbidities of dementia often hide the real cause of death.
- People with dementia have difficulty telling doctors about symptoms that would indicate they have the disease.
- There is a stigma attached to dementia that may prevent people from reporting it, making the medical certifier who completes the certificate unaware of the disease.
There is no guaranteed way of preventing dementia, but there are things seniors can do to reduce their risks for the disease. Some of the things experts suggest for reducing dementia risk factors are:
- Exercising regularly.
- Remaining socially active.
- Eating a healthy diet.
- Keeping the mind active.
- Getting adequate sleep.
- Reducing and managing stress.
- Keeping the vascular system in good health.
While this could mean making a lot of changes in your older family member’s way of living, with the help of senior care, you can help them to prevent dementia. Senior care providers can assist older adults to exercise by going for walks with them, driving them to an exercise class, or supervising while they exercise at home. Senior care can also prepare healthy meals that include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In addition, a senior care provider can offer stimulating activities that help to keep your aging relative’s mind active, such as playing games, doing crossword puzzles, and more.
If you or an aging loved one needs Senior Care in Davis, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.